Representatives from GBI traveled to Bogota this month to participate in a stakeholder’s workshop, held by Compartel, the Colombian Ministry of Information and Communications Technology’s universal service administrator. The February 15th workshop was designed as a means of gathering stakeholder input to Compartel’s strategic planning process. Compartel is planning to restructure itself to effectively address the next generation of challenges for the use of ICTs in Colombia, and it invited GBI and key personnel from Intel Corporation’s World Ahead program to participate in the workshop.
Following the workshop, Compartel and GBI went into an intensive 2 day work planning session that laid out a six month plan of cooperation to define ICT sector goals and objectives, map strategic activities of Compartel, and to provide technical assistance on strategic plan implementation. David Townsend, Daniel Espitia, and Robert Otto represented the GBI team in Bogota.
Compartel, the Colombian Ministry of Information and Communications Technology’s universal service administrator, has already accomplished many important milestones with its Vive Digital program to connect most of Colombia to Internet and voice services. Among their accomplishments are completion of 2,000 kilometers of terrestrial fiber optic channels, 800 kilometers of undersea fiber optic cable to its offshore island of San Andres. Projects underway include an 18,000 kilometer national fiber optic network to serve some 753 municipalities, provision of broadband to 6,700 public schools, in-home broadband connections for 115,000 low income households, and seven projects designed to provide 10,000 more broadband connections for public schools, small villages, and community telecenters.